Monday 1 October 1990

Chairman's Report 1989/90 - Noel Ferguson

The Association's main activities over the last 12 months have revolved around our student exchange program with Joanne Walters concluding her year in Japan and the choice of Nicole Hughes, Steven Hutchinson and Elissa Richards from a record six applicants for the opportunity to participate in 1990. Reports from the latter three indicate a great enthusiasm being displayed by them all, with a heavy load of school and social activities being relished.

While on the subject of future student exchange two important points arise, they being firstly the proposed policing of reciprocity in exchanges by the Federal Ministry of Education meaning that we can only take two students from Japan if we only send two, -but averaged out over two years. The other aspect is the need for representatives from local Secondary Schools to be actively involved in our Association and in turn to promote the opportunity to participate in the exchange to students at their schools. This appears to be a matter we have overlooked in recent years but is evidenced by the interest in the past of students from John Paul College and Ballam Park Technical School when Bob Morphett and Steve Walker were members of our Executive.

Rika Muramatsu and Chiharu Suzuki returned to Japan in March after a fruitful stay with us while Jun Katsumata became the pioneer and elected to spend some further time here furthering his secondary education at Peninsula Grammar in Mt. Eliza. Subsequently we were pleased to welcome our three latest students, Tamayo, Yuki and Yoshio, who have settled in well and are a pleasure to be involved with according to each of their counsellors.

We have a new counsellor this year in Bev Womersley who has joined Bev Hannan and Rod Johnston and the Association is indebted to these three for the excellent job they do in this time-consuming and onerous task. Similarly we appreciate the assistance and support from families who act as home hosts. While it is obvious a disruption to their households occurs almost all of the host families appear to equally enjoy the once strangers/now family occurrence of the visitor in their midst. 

Social Events

The major events have been a well supported Progressive Dinner in November, 1989 and then the now traditional February Sunday at Ajana Lane to combine the welcome home to our students recently returned from Japan and the farewell to Japanese students returning with our next Australian contingent to Japan.  Another activity was the attendance of Andrew Grigor and Therese Hannan at the Annual Sister Cities Convention in Shepparton. They were accompanied by Rika, Chiharu and Jun and all found the participation rewarding socially and in an education sense of how others have involvement between sister cities.

Japanese Garden

Discussions are taking place with Frankston High School who approached our Association on the subject of a proposal they are considering, to construct a Japanese Garden in the vicinity of their Senior School precinct. Attempts are being made to facilitate the placement of the ornamental Japanese Garden lanterns which were donated to us by Susono some years ago and we hope some suitable arrangement can be made to achieve this long held desire for a tangible testimonial to the fine relationship we have as a sister-city to Susono.

Between August 18 and 21,1990 Frankston received a delegation of 7 Susono people. The delegation was led by the Chairman of the Susono Overseas Friendship Association, Dr. Shunji Ohashi, who was accompanied by his wife, Mrs.Yoshiko Ohashi. The delegation also included the Co-ordinator of the Susono Overseas Friendship Association, Mr. Hiromichi Sugiyama; Secretary to the Mayor, Mr. Yukihiko Sugiyama; Chief of Student Exchange, Mr. Shingo Onoda; School Principal, Mr. Masaharu Sakata and Mathematics Teacher, Mr. Toyohiko Sugiyama.

The visit had an educational focus and included visits to local secondary schools and the Frankston Hospital. The Mayor, Councillor David Lee, hosted a civic reception for the delegation and they also attended the FSFA Annual General Meeting.